The blistering sunlight shines through the window as the child sits, watching, and waiting. His mother has gone into the service station to pay for her gasoline and purchase a few groceries. The child sits and watches the people who go by. The child doesn’t understand the things he’s seeing, just like most of us don’t understand what we’re seeing, either. What the child doesn’t know is that he’s seeing lives. Etchings of them, anyway. He’s witnessing a time, a place, and a point that belongs to the story of every single one of the people he sees. Rather insignificant, yes, but still, they are indeed here at this very place at this very point in their lifetimes. Each person leaves behind a piece of twine that tangles and twists and unwinds with each move they make. If we just take hold of the string, we can follow it and go right down the path of another’s maze across this world.
There is a man, strong in stature, with a mound of bushy red hair and a rough, weather beaten face. He is walking along at a slow pace, the ground beneath his feet. The child can see the man. The child will be here long after the man. The man will leave this place and continue on his journey. He has loved, learned, laughed, and will ultimately, lose. He climbs on his motorcycle and speeds off towards wherever it is he is going. Then he just keeps going there, following his piece of twine wherever it decides to lead him. The twine decides to lead him right through the path of an oncoming truck. He is killed in the flash of metal, the white hot screams of it scraping against the charred pavement.
Falling, falling, falling. The man was always falling.
A woman walks along the way, she’s beautiful and proud. She doesn’t look ahead, and she doesn’t look behind. Preoccupied, turned away. She’s always trying to rush ahead, keep ahead, win the race. The woman will leave this place and continue on her journey. She has a family at home; they probably don’t even miss her. But, she doesn’t like to think like that. They should be happy, she’s always searching, always trying, always working. But she just can’t win.
Losing, losing, losing. The woman was always losing.
A boy with darkened skin makes the rounds. His walk is quick and light, and his smile is more dazzling than the brightest star. He’s young and true and sure and kind, and humble in every way. He doesn’t walk into the store; he sits on the curb with his back against the ice machine. Cold. That’s how the boy feels right now. He wants to turn his back on the world; he wants to forget the path that his web of twine spun for him. The boy will leave this place and continue on his journey. Even the brightest smile cannot hide a soul blistered with pain. He buries his face in his hands.
Crying, crying, crying. The boy was always crying.
A young girl with sunken eyes and a vacant expression is making her way to the door. She’s in no ways attractive, and she doesn’t care. But she does care. But she can’t care. She’s going there to occupy herself, to give herself a reason not to go back to the place where it all began. She feels the urge to take it all back in, she wants to feel that high and take that chance and escape, even if just for a moment, the pain that her thread of life has caused her. She suddenly turns, and her ball of twine takes her back to her car, and back to the place that causes her so much pleasure and so much pain. The girl will leave this place and continue on her journey. She will continue until . . . snap. Her thread is cut. They will find her lying on the floor of her home, cardiac arrest due to drug overdose. There will be no witnesses.
Dying, dying, dying. The girl was always dying.
The boy sees his mother walk out of the store, two brown paper grocery bags in her arms. She carries the bags to the car, the car where the child is sitting. She opens the passenger door abruptly, alarmingly, jarring the child out of his peaceful state. But he doesn’t mind, because he does not understand the things he sees. His mother starts the car and the two continue on their journey. The child rests his head against the coolness of the misty window. Outside, rain is falling.
Raining, raining, raining. The sky was always raining.